1.09.2006

all good things must end


I almost didn't get out of bed today. I was waiting for the Caribbean sun, but it never showed. In my semi-conscious state, that seemed to me a sign that the end had come. I couldn't imagine the scenario in which I would have willingly left the sun and warmth and humidity for the cold and dark. And now that I'm awake, wrapped in layers of wool, I still can't remember.

On the last full day of the trip, we sailed from Martinique to Saint Lucia, arriving several hours after sunset. It was one of the best sails of the trip--steady winds and small swells, with a moon bright enough to read by. A few dolphins found the boat and, like rowdy kids trying to get attention, leapt several feet into the air and flopped on their bellies, almost close enough for us to touch them. We all squealed, humans and dolphins alike.

A few hours later, we anchored in a harbor in Saint Lucia and shared a bottle of champagne on deck. Meanwhile, the captain and cook, both young Swedes with charming accents, scurried around in the dingy, preparing our Last Supper on the beach. With plates of steaks and mango salsa and guacamole--prepared with local mangos and avocados we had secured with significant effort--we sat on blankets, surrounded by candles, and looked out at the boat, floating in a pool of moonlight. No one said much. Six of us were boarding planes the next day; the crew would return to Sweden two days later. Maybe we were ready to go home, maybe we never wanted to leave.

The smell of steak caught the attention of a little black and white dog, who skulked up to our group on the beach. She poured on the charm, settling down at the captain's feet, then hopped around and invited everyone to play. We gave her a plate of scraps, probably some of the best eats she'd had in awhile, and kept refilling an improvised water bowl. Finally, it was time to go. When we'd packed up the dingy and shoved off, the dog ran after us in the water. The motor was started, and she swam faster, not wanting a good thing to end.

2 comments:

jerad said...

Welcome back! I'm just not going to ask how good the trip was because I don't need the jealousy right now.

Cristina said...

Hmm. What a great night... I am totally there on the beach with you. I have not left yet.